Release Date:  January 30, 2002

NOTICE:  NOT-HD-02-004

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)

The NICHD supports the NIH effort to increase the participation of 
individuals from minority groups underrepresented in biomedical and 
behavioral research (NIH Guide Vol. 22, No. 25, July 16, 1993;  This effort 
established standard NIH-wide guidelines that require all applications for 
Institutional National Research Service Awards (T32 Institutional Training 
Grants) to devise and describe plans to recruit and retain underrepresented 
minority trainees.  Competing continuation applications also must report on 
the effectiveness of their plans during the previous award period.  
Applications without these plans, and competing continuation applications 
without a report, are considered incomplete and will not be reviewed until 
the missing information is provided.

According to the existing guidelines, the Scientific Review Group (SRG) 
scores the application based on the technical and educational merit of the 
proposal.  The reviewers then discuss the minority recruitment plans and 
determine whether they are "unacceptable" or "acceptable."  These discussions 
are included in the summary statement as an administrative note.  
Applications with unacceptable plans are required to develop better plans and 
to describe them in supplemental material.  These applications cannot be 
funded until their revised plans are judged acceptable by the institute's 
staff and National Advisory Council.

The NICHD is now implementing procedures to encourage increased efforts by 
institutions to enhance the inclusion of individuals from underrepresented 
minority groups in NICHD-supported Institutional Training Grants.  These 
procedures will be used in addition to the standard NIH-wide procedures.  
They will enable the NICHD to identify and recognize programs that 
demonstrate the greatest commitment to the training of underrepresented 
minorities, and that have been most successful in their endeavors. 

Following standard initial review of T32 applications, NICHD staff will 
review the comments of the SRG with respect to the peer reviewers' judgment 
of inclusion plans and, when appropriate, the record of inclusion.  In 
consultation with the National Advisory Child Health and Human Development 
Council, the Institute will then categorize further this component of the 
application.  Each "acceptable" application will now be categorized as either 
"acceptable" or "exemplary.

To be defined as "exemplary," applications must describe comprehensive and 
creative strategies for recruiting individuals from underrepresented minority 
groups.  Exemplary competing continuation applications also must have 
demonstrated significant success in recruiting and retaining underrepresented 
minority trainees during the previous award period, given the program's 
institutional and geographical environment.  Exemplary competing continuation 
applications will be eligible for additional training positions when they are 
awarded and to receive additional training positions at the end of each 
Federal fiscal year, in each case up to the SRG-recommended level.

NICHD is committed to increasing the proportion of individuals from under-
represented minority groups on our institutional training grants.  We expect 
that these new strategies will encourage applicants for these programs to 
make additional efforts in their recruitment activities.  


Dr. Steven Klein
Training Officer
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
6100 Executive Boulevard, Room 4B01, MSC 7510
Bethesda, MD  20892-7510
Telephone:  301-496-5541
Fax:  301-480-0303

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